films soundtracks

Z is for Zero to Hero from Hercules

Hercules isn’t my favourite Disney film, in fact it’s one I didn’t really watch that much when I was younger, but it’s got some great songs.

Zero to Hero is my favourite from Hercules and one of my favourite Disney songs in general. I love how up beat it is and the voices of the Muses – Lillias White, LaChanze, Roz Ryan, Cheryl Freeman and Vanéese Y. Thomas – are phenomenal. I’ve always had a soft spot for gospel music and having a gospel style song in a Disney film is inspired.

I love the lyrics in Zero to Hero too. They’re really fun and have a lot of jokes and references that I definitely didn’t get when I was a kid. The lyrics and the big energy choir phrases, combined with a fast-paced tempo and a rhythm you just want to clap your hands to, makes Zero to Hero a great and memorable song.

This is a song I can never get tired of listening to – I’ve even learnt all the words!

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X is for X-Training by Henry Jackman

X is always the hardest letter when it comes to the A-Z Challenge but luckily, I had a couple of songs on my iTunes that began with the letter X. I’m pretty sure the majority of X posts over the year for this challenge have been X-Men related and who am I to break that tradition!

X-Training is from X-Men: First Class and is featured in this sequence, where Xavier attempts to train the young mutants how to use their powers.

X-Training is my favourite piece of music from the film. It’s upbeat and builds through the song but at it’s heart is these strings which sound amazing. I think I like this piece of music the most from the entire score is because it’s more of a fun, light piece than the rest of the soundtrack, but it’s still got echoes of the main theme from X-Men: First Class.

S is for See You Again by Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth

This song gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. It’s an emotional song that combines a ballad with rap and it’s incredible.

I cried in the cinema when I first heard See You Again as it played at the end of Fast & Furious 7, giving Paul Walker (and his character Brian O’Connor) an unexpectedly wonderful send off. I adore the Fast and Furious films (they have my favourite trope, family of choice) and Paul Walker’s death hit me hard so to have this song that’s so heartfelt and well suited to the franchise, but is also universal, is just perfect.

I’m not someone who gets too into the Oscars but if there’s one song that should’ve at least been nominated, it’s See You Again. Basically I just wanted to get all the accolades it deserved, and for everyone else to love it as much as I did.

I love See You Again but it’s a song I can’t listen to repeatedly. I love it but the emotion in it gets to me and if I listen to it too many times in a short space of time I know I’ll end up crying.

O is for The Other Side from The Greatest Showman

I adore The Greatest Showman and all its songs. It’s such a feel-good film (I know it seriously glosses over the fact that P.T. Barnum wasn’t a good guy) and I was dancing in my seat in the cinema by the end of it.

I like all of the songs – This is Me is a worthy Oscar nominee – but my favourite song from the film is The Other Side. I think the reason I love it so much is because it feels like a proper musical song. While some of the other songs from the film feel like an interlude, The Other Side actually moves the plot of the film forward and you get an insight into these two characters.

You have Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron singing together, with Jackman trying to convince Efron to join his circus and Efron saying he’s fine as he is. The scene in the film is brilliant as the two of them dance around a bar together with the choreography being some of the best in the film.

I was impressed with myself when I learnt all the words to The Other Side because some of it is a bit of a tongue twister. It’s a really fun, fast-paced song that I can’t help but tap my foot along to. I also enjoy belting out the chorus at the top of my lungs!

I can’t wait till The Greatest Showman is out on DVD so I can watch it repeatedly – this song and the dance that accompanies it will be a part a watch over and over.

N is for No Man’s Land by Rupert Gregson-Williams

Wonder Woman was one of my favourite films from last year, and its soundtrack was the first film soundtrack I’d bought in a few years.

The No Man’s Land sequence in the film, stands out because it’s Diana realising her true potential and becoming the hero she was born to be. She doesn’t believe it when she’s told there’s nothing they can do, nothing no man can do, and instead inspires and leads people in what’s right.

The music that accompanies that scene adds to its power. I love how the beautiful music slowly builds, it starts off so quiet but as Diana walks across No Man’s Land it gets louder and more self-assured.

I think this piece of music is inspiring and emotional. I listened to it on my way to job interviews as it makes me feel confident in my abilities and makes me feel positive that I can tackle whatever is thrown my way.

I said earlier on in this A-Z Challenge that Gimme Shelter used to be my ringtone but was replaced by another song that I’d be talking about. Well, my phone ringtone is this song, more specifically the Wonder Woman theme with all the electronic string instruments that kicks in at 3:23.

I just love this musical work, the whole of the Wonder Woman score is great, but No Man’s Land is an instantly memorable piece of music.

If you want to see the music in action in the film, it starts in this scene as our heroes walk through the trenches and continues in this scene where they fight to save a town. I’d definitely recommend them, I find myself watching them every now and then when I need a boost.

I is for Independent Women, Pt. 1 by Destiny’s Child

This song is on my Kick-Ass Inspirational playlist and its place there is well deserved. It’s a feel-good song and a feminist one too. I’m very much an independent person, and probably thanks to my mum, I definitely makes sure when there’s something I want, I save and buy it with my own money.

I think the Charlie’s Angels soundtrack was one of the first CD’s I bought, and it was definitely the first CD I listened to repeatedly because I liked how different the songs all were, and I wanted to learn all the words.

Destiny’s Child were a group whose music I grew up listening to on the radio, but they weren’t an act whose music I bought (to be honest, I never really bought many individual artists albums when I was growing up – I was all about the compilation albums) so Independent Women was my go to Destiny’s Child song for the longest time.

I just really love Independent Women. I think it’s a great song for a film like Charlie’s Angels, it’s an inspiring song and it’s a great song to sing along and dance to.

Listen while you work.

I’m writing a 2,000 word essay at the moment – it’s about independent film marketing techniques if you were interested – and while writing I have been listening to a lot of music.

I know that different people work in different ways and whether or not you listen to music while working is often something people debate about. For a long time I was one of those people who needed dead silence to work but nowadays I’m almost the complete opposite.

When I’m reading I need quiet. Whether I’m reading an essay, an academic book or a novel I need quiet when reading. When it comes to writing though I do prefer as much noise as possible – it does have to be the right type of noise though! I do hate being able to hear other peoples conversations when I’m trying to work so sticking my headphones in and listening to some music definitely solves that problem.

I find that it’s only certain music I can scribble away to though. For instance, I’m really bad at writing with upbeat pop music with catchy lyrics playing as I find myself singing along instead of writing. I love listening to soundtracks – I’ve got a whole playlist composed of the music from such films as The Avengers, Lord of the Rings, X-Men: First Class, The Dark Knight and The Pirates of the Caribbean – because they have no lyrics I find it very easy to just write.

I do like listening to certain artists when writing though. I do love listening to Matt Cardle, Take That, Matchbox Twenty and Marianas Trench. I think part of it is, is the sound of their music – I’m not saying it’s all “Easy Listening” but I don’t feel as if I have to 100% pay attention to the lyrics to get the feel of the song. All of their music is great for just being background noise while I let my mind focus on the essay at hand. One of my absolute favourite artists to listen to when writing is El Canto Del Loco. They’re a Spanish band and I think one of the reasons that I write so well when listening to them is the fact that they sing in another language. As I’ve said before I have a basic understanding of Spanish and while I generally get a rough idea of what each song is about, there’s no way that I’m listening to the song as much as I would if the song was in English. It’s the perfect type of music to write to in my opinion.